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could she be his venus?


could she be his venus?

i wondered as they walked

arm in arm down 8th avenue

on a brisk, gray autumn morning.

he was thin, tall, frail,

unkempt, thinning hair the same

color as the overcast sky,

a day or two's growth of white beard

likely added a decade to his life

in my mind.

she was a head shorter than he

and as wide as she was tall

attired in well worn clothing

clearly selected for modest comfort,

her hair the color of fall leaves

that have already lost their color,

her face a fleshy relief map

registering lifetime of concern.


they spoke loudly

yet intimately

believing themselves shielded

by the early hour and the barrier of language,

speaking of their grown son

and his wife, of whom they disapproved

and their worries for their child's future,

the man listened to his wife

and i saw his bony hand

tighten around the corpulence of hers,

he listened as if she were speaking

words of the prophets.


i saw love in his eyes.



8. November, 2006

58th St, NYC